I attended the Austin City Limits Festival last week. Despite the Texas heat, described to me by a friend as “Africa hot”, it was amazing. Austin is a wonderful city, ans the festival is an extension of everything that makes it so: great music, good food, and really cool people.In the course of three days, I saw more interesting bands than I can remember. Some peformances leave you underwhelmed. Others solidify your respect for a band. You fall in love with new artists, and you renew your vows with old favorites. That said, my favorite moments are those where you see a band you have always appreciated and walk away with newfound respect.For me that was LCD Soundsystem. I already own their CDs. I throw them on in the car now and then. A few tracks appear on my iTunes playlists or on my iPod for working out. Their live show, however, took it to whole new level. There something about seeing them perform live that adds some soul to the proceedings. It stops being clever lyrics and electro-production and becomes a living, breathing thing. What was a bit cold and removed on the CD becomes a visceral, urgent thing.I tried to find a decent clip from ACL, but alas, there were none. The clip above it a live TV performance, and gets the point across.There’s also this video for the same track, All My Friends. Pretty amazing stuff.
Archive for the ‘music’ Category
Wes Anderson’s new film, The Darjeeling Limited, comes out on September 29th, and I can’t hardly wait. In an world where Transformers, quite possibly the shittiest piece of shit I have ever seen in my adult life, can may a few hundred million dollars, I’m glad there are directors like Wes Anderson. He’s had his ups and downs, but his worst work is still better than 99% of the movies released in American cinemas.
I would rather watch his Amex commercial on a continuous loop for two hours than have to sit through Pirates of the Carribean 3 again.
If nothing else, I’m sure the soudtrack will be awesome.
It seems there’s a new advertising critic in town, and he wears a giant suit. In a recent blog post, the one and only David Byrne comments on ads seen before a recent screening of Stranger Than Fiction. I don’t know about you, but I think he’s on the money.
Thanks to my favorite music blog, Stereogum, for pointing this out.
Certain things shouldn’t be messed with— a good steak, the Star Wars films, and of course the music of the Beatles.
With only one real Beatle still alive (sorry, Ringo) it’s my knee-jerk, music snob instinct to assume that any “new releases” from the band are nothing but an attempt to mine their legacy for a few extra bucks. (Hey, Paul’s gotta pay for that divorce somehow.) Messing with the canon of the Beatles just seems like heresy.
That’s why I was so surprised by Love.
If you haven’t heard, Cirque du Soleil have a Beatles-themed show currently playing in Vegas. The soundtrack to the show is a Beatles mash-up, taking some of their greatest hits (I Want to Hold Your Hand) and putting them next to, and sometimes on top of, some of their classic album tracks (Cry Baby Cry). The end result is pretty amazing. The tracks are deconstructed, reassembled, and embellished in the best way possible. It’s beautifully conceived, sonically daring, often poingant, and occasionally overwhelming.
As much as I hate to admit it, it’s downright amazing. In case you don’t believe me, and you certainly shouldn’t, Metacritic has links to all of the reviews.
Oh, did I mention that the whole thing was assembled and mixed by Sir George Martin and his son Giles? If anyone has the right to revisit this work, it’s certainly Martin. As far as I’m concerend, he’s more of a Beatle than Ringo.
At the end of the day, I only have to wonder if John would approve. I think so. George? Maybe not.
I knew the open source artwork for Beck’s new CD had it goin’ on, but this is ridiculous. It seems that no matter how well it sells, the CD is excluded from the official UK charts because its artwork and multimedia content constitute an “unfair advantage” over the competition.
Beck’s new album, The Information, hit shelves on Tuesday. While many will navigate their way to the iTunes store and download the album, never has there been a better reason to go to an actual bricks-and-mortar record store and purchase an actual CD. It’s interactive.
The album comes packaged with a simple grid-paper insert and a series of stickers, leaving the actual design of the cover artwork to the listener. There’s even a gallery where you can post photos of your creation for all to see.
As Dmitri Siegel over at Design Observer points out, this sort of “instruction-as-art” tactic is nothing new. What I find really interesting is Beck’s somewhat low-tech approach to consumer engagement. Granted, there is a web-gallery, but the fun of this whole concept is the actual placing of the stickers on the cover – the act of design. It’s such a simple little pleasure, like something from your childhood. What a great reminder that the power to design, or to be “a designer”, is a part of all of us.
For more on Beck’s open-source ambitions, see this Wired article.